Why I think Social Media Posts Are Real Enough

Attention! I have an unpopular belief and I'm ready to share it:

I am perfectly okay seeing your photos of your smiling children and your happy marriage. I know that the seconds leading up to this picture-perfect snapshot might not have been so perfect. I don't feel betrayed or tricked into thinking you have a perfect life simply because all the photos you post are beautifully filtered. Not only do I have the same filters on my phone as you, but I'm also a human living the same kind of roller-coaster you are living.

There's a been a rash of "we need to be more real on social media" attitudes lately, and I just don't think that's true. I get plenty of real on my News Feed, especially since this election cycle wrapped up. I actually quite enjoy the smiling photos and the images of together-ness. Please, keep them coming.

I think we're getting too wrapped up in the fact that our picture-perfect posts aren't showing real life. This reminds me of a long-standing (light-hearted but real) argument in my marriage. My husband says, "I'm not smiling in real life, why do I have to smile for a photo? Then it's not a true representation of the moment." I say (after I roll my eyes), "Are you feeling joy right now? Are you happy to be with your family? Then give me a freakin' smile."

I think the moments we post with our smiling faces are great. I don't think they're meant to brush over the crappy moments, I think they're meant to make the happy moments SHINE! Highlight these positive and joyful moments. At the end of your life, isn't that what you want to stick out anyway?

What you focus on expands. If you focus on the fits your kids threw ten minutes before the photo, your day is ruined. If you focus on the giggles and laughter that ensued once you distracted them and their fits were over, your day is much brighter.

I'm not saying ignore the bad stuff; that's unhealthy. I'm saying deal with it and move on. I'm saying the world doesn't need your dirty laundry. It needs your bright shiny smiles.

So smile away, Facebook and Instagram peeps! Let the world see the HAPPY moments you chose to focus on today.

Here's my example -- this lunch outing was actually pretty stressful for me because dining out with a toddler is a serious test of patience. But when I see this ham of a face, my heart fills completely with the highest kind of joy --